Food

Any time is chocolate time

Chocolate bar by Good Eats

Chocolate bar by Good Eats   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Indulge in a wide range of homemade chocolates

‘Tis the season for chocolates, cakes and Christmas cheer. And for most of us, chocolates are our Kryptonite. Chocolates have officially gone from sinful to unstoppable with homechefs turning their sweet tooth into successful small businesses. These chocolate makers are serving up a variety of chocolates in various shapes, sizes and flavours giving niche and branded chocolates a run for their money.

Sherin Roshin has been in the home-made chocolate industry for the past 15 years. A chocoholic, she laughs as she recalls how her diet consisted of mostly chocolates in her childhood. And with family from abroad gifting her chocolates, Sherin claims she has tasted most of the varieties and flavours available in the market.

Sherin Roshin

Sherin Roshin   | Photo Credit: Liza George

“And that has helped me as I can replicate almost all the flavours of chocolates available. But then, chocolates are a happy product, and I love everything about it,” says the chocolate maker, who markets her range of chocolates under the brand name Della Berries.

From plating up plain, dark, white and milk chocolates, Sreedevi Hari, who runs Chocolicious, soon decided to go a step further. Putting on her thinking cap, she began mixing and matching ingredients. “I asked my family what flavours they liked best and began working with them. For instance, my daughter is fond of peanut butter. So I tried fusing it with chocolate; it is a hit with all,” says Sreedevi, a home science graduate who began experimenting with chocolates when she noticed her daughter developing an allergic cough each time she had chocolates available in stores.

Sreedevi Hari

Sreedevi Hari   | Photo Credit: Liza George

“I was curious to know if she would react the same way to home-made chocolates. She isn’t by the way,” says Sreedevi.

Manju Madhu of Good Eats, on the other hand, began experimenting in the kitchen as she wanted to introduce healthy eating in her family. Her 70% dark chocolate couverture fruit and nut bar is the latest in her range of products. “Experts say cocoa butter is good for you. Couverture has only cocoa butter, while compound chocolate has less cocoa butter and more vegetable oil,” says Manju.

Manju Madhu

Manju Madhu   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Simi PV laughs as she recalls her first attempt at making chocolate after watching a YouTube video. “I poured the chocolate mixture in a steel bowl and it did not set.” However, as the mixture tasted good, she tried her hand again, but this time with proper moulds. And soon, the enterprising homemaker began marketing them under Simis Creationzzzzz.

According to chefs, who work out of their home kitchens, finding ingredients are a breeze as nearly everything is available in stores. Sherin, however, recalls a time when she had to rely on family travelling from abroad to bring her certain ingredients. “I still get some of my chocolate wrappers and decorative sprinklers from abroad,” she says.

While some package the foil-wrapped chocolates in boxes, others place them in decorative stringed sachets, while yet others package the chocolates in attractive paper bags or baskets. All the chocolates are made on order and the range of fillings are usually home-made. If placed in the refrigerator, the chocolates can last for up to two weeks.

As it’s always a good time for chocolates, there’s a demand for chocolates around the year, with many of the home chefs receiving bulk orders for weddings and birthdays and even during the NRI season, where NRIs pick up chocolates by the dozen as gifts for family and friends. Christmas, however, is the busiest time of year for them.

Simi PV

Simi PV   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“I think more and more people are picking up home-made chocolates as it’s a novel idea. With chocolates coming in a range of exotic flavours and in interesting packaging, many are now opting for boxes of chocolates as gifts,” says Sreedevi.

While customers do crib about the price, many realise that most chocolate makers use quality ingredients and are okay with the pricing. With Christmas around the corner, the chefs are busy pouring chocolate into festive moulds and sealing them in colourful wrappers.

Pointing to a chocolate Christmas tree figurine decked with candied fruits and nuts Sherin, says: “I love this time of year as one can go slightly wild while decorating the chocolates.” Bring on the chocolates, we say!

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:03:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/indulge-in-a-wide-range-of-homemade-chocolates/article25733695.ece

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